Saturday, June 30, 2012


Pushing the contrast with this hilltop scene.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Nightfall, oil on 12x12 stretched canvas


Today I made some revisions to this painting. It worked out just as I hoped and I put it in a frame.
I also got to visit with Jim King at his studio. To see what beautiful new work he has been doing ....go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, In the Valley, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Thursday, June 28, 2012


At Oxbow Park yesterday I saw some huge bird tracks in the water near the shore. I couldn't really imagine what type bird it could be. I uploaded a photo (below) of the tracks onto Facebook today asking if anyone knew what type bird it was and nearly immediately some smart outdoorsy Oregonian advised me that it was likely a Heron. (Slapping forehead! Well, of course! DOH!) 

(This print was nearly the size of my own foot.) 

(Top photo) Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, Heron from photo reference, oil on 9x12 canvas panel

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I got to spend the afternoon at Oxbow park and the Sandy River. This is a little compositional study on the river.

Oil sketch: Celeste Bergin, On the River, oil on 6x8 canvas panel 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Kevin MacPherson advises us in his book that "starts" are sometimes all we need. 

Painting Start, Celeste Bergin,  Sandy Delta, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Monday, June 25, 2012

For Jason

Painting: Celeste Bergin, For Jason, oil on 8x10 gessoed panel

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday .....!

When R. Crumb was wildly popular (over the course of around 30-40 years, beginning with the "Keep on Truckin" visual) I was not a fan. Indeed...I thoroughly disliked most of his work. ("Mr. Natural" was especially disturbing). Recently, however,  I saw the movie Crumb and suddenly I could agree with the genius that everyone else saw earlier. Suffice it to say, you'd have to see the film to truly understand. I loved watching him draw with a quill pen...there is much that is old-time-y about him, which is paradoxical, since he was always railing against the status quo. Shouldn't he have been wearing bell bottoms instead of looking like Groucho Marx?  
R. Crumb now lives in France, having gotten completely fed up with the US. In the supplemental part of the film Crumb provides a succinct (and accurate) run down of how the economy got broken.  The film was released 17 years ago. 

(Top Photo) Celeste Bergin, R. Crumb from booklet, pen & ink on Strathmore vellum paper. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Here is the painting I did today. It's painted from a photo reference atop a black gessoed surface.... just as an exercise!

Dave Burbach & I met Dave and Char McBride and Michael and Victoria Lindstrom today at Eastmoreland Golf Club for lunch.  (It was raining pretty hard, but that didn't deter the golfers. The parking lot was 3/4's full).

After lunch we got to make a field trip to Dave McBride's studio that is not far from the golf course. (The name of his studio is "Flying Bird")

Dave showed us his easel that is mounted on a wall.  He learned this from William Park. This type of system means that you have to paint completely upright, but Dave likes it a lot. He can put any size panel on the wall and he can adjust the cross bar so that he can either sit or stand.

We also got to meet Dave & Char's dog, Mocha. Mocha made us all want to take him home with us, but the McBrides insist on keeping him. Dang!

Yesterday I saw the movie Crumb for the first time. (It's been out for 17 years, and I remember that it was very popular).  Crumb really made me want to try my hand at sketching with a quill pen. I bought one for a couple of bucks today at Muse. Muse is moving into this corner building, but they are still operational next door in the meantime.

That is my full Saturday report....I hope that YOU are having a great weekend! What are you doing? Tell!

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Rasmussen's Farm, oil on 9 x 12 (black) gessoed canvas panel

Friday, June 22, 2012


This is a painting from awhile back. I made some adjustments to it and I think I will frame it for an upcoming show.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Fixing her hair oil on 9 x12 canvas panel

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Just a quick study using 4 values of black and white. (Sometimes this sort of thing is nearly as fun as the color version).

Oil Value Study: Celeste Bergin, Moonlight, oil on 6x6 canvas panel 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Today I went to Hood River to handle some administrative things for the upcoming plein air event. 

While I was there I did a little window shopping. I love these sparkly shoes.

This is Silverado.  It's great to stop in and have a look at the beautiful jewelry.

Flowers in the flower shop

...And the highlight of the day was visiting with Robert Joki of Sovereign Gallery.
Bonus...! I got to see his restored 1992 Penske PC21 race car.
(Yes, the very one that Mears and Fittapaldi drove). 
Now, that's not something you see everyday. Great day! How was yours?

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Bouquet, oil on 8 x 10 canvas panel

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Todd T. Smith 1944-2012

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because
you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

----Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday...Celebrating Sondra's birthday

Today Sondra and I went to Alameda Cafe to celebrate her birthday. She and I "go back a long way." We met at Mt. Hood CC around 1978 when we were both taking graphic design classes. One day in Loren Weeks' design class Sondra stood up and said "this is all complete @#$%!" and she quit the program. (I still bought into it all, and I soldiered on). We've remained best friends throughout all the ensuing years. After lunch, we went to the Barnes & Noble, drank more coffee and looked at books. She wound up buying a book about survivalism. Sondra has always been wonderfully.......... weird.

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Sandy Delta, plein air, oil on 6x8 canvas panel
2nd photo Sondra Rebalkin
3rd photo Mostly art books, and one about preparing for the Apocalypse.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday...Happy Father's Day

I spent a good part of Father's day at the Portland Art Museum at the California Impressionism exhibit and the Ellsworth Kelly exhibit. In the afternoon I attended a lecture about Impressionism by Jean Stern, Executive Director of the Irvine Museum. Many of my plein air pals were in the audience. The exhibits are wonderful and the lecture was great too. (Slideshow below)

(I'm super-pleased to be among the plein air painters selected to paint in the Oregon Invitational Plein Air paint out this summer, 8/4 and 8/5/12 in the Portland Art Museum South Park Blocks).

Hoping you had a very Happy Father's Day!

(Top Photo): Me and my Dad, Cecil J. Bergin (one of the only photos of us together)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012


Happy Friday!
Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Katz, charcoal and turpentine, in Moleskine sketchbook

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Today I attended an art discussion meeting of Alla Prima painters at Bread and Ink. Some of us brought in art to share and we talked about projects we are currently working on. I brought in the painting above because I painted in on gessoed paper (and it's interesting to discuss materials and supplies too).

In other news, here is how the portrait that Conservatively Bohemian painted of my Mom looks on the wall. Wasn't that a great thing she did for me? I love it! It's a treasure. 

To see the art from today's meeting...go HERE.

(Top Photo): Painting, Celeste Bergin, Bouquet, oil on gessoed cardstock

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


A plein air painting.... employing big shapes and just 3-4 values.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Hillside, oil on 8x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Carolyn's Birthday

It's a yearly tradition to celebrate Carolyn's birthday at Camp 18. This year Carrie Holst did a watercolor plein air demonstration for us (which was exceptional, despite the added challenge of rain). I got a good start on an antique tractor, but precipitation forced me to leave it in an abbreviated state. Painting it as far as I did was pleasant enough. It was a great day. Slideshow below and to see what the others did, go HERE.

Oil Sketch, Celeste Bergin, Antique Tractor, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Monday, June 11, 2012


When I lived in Florida it was commonplace for it to rain hammer-handles and pitchforks every day (and often at the same time every 4pm, for example). Weather there was very interesting, to say the least. When it would rain as hard as it did, streets became like lakes. More than once, on the way home from work, the high water washed back into my car's tailpipe rendering the car un-driveable. The painting above, though not painted in Florida, reminds me of the times I drove through the flooded streets pretending I had an amphibian car. You see, the secret was to keep driving steadily ahead. Hey, come to think of it that is a good philosophy in general. :)

Painting: Celeste Bergin, On the Way Home, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Life Model Session at Janet's Amundson-Splidsboel's Studio

We had a great model, a redheaded young man named Steven. I liked how from my position how he was predominately in shadow. His hairstyle made him look like he came from a different era. To see what the rest did go HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Steven, oil on 16x20 canvas panel

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Link the Darks

One of the best things I was reminded of while studying with Craig Srebnik recently was: "Link the Darks!" I've heard it a number of times from different sources, but it is an easy thing to forget. (If one remembers to do it, however, the results will be much stronger than if one doesn't remember to do it!) Case-in-point... Here is a drawing that I dashed out tonight because I needed something for the blog. I spent less than an half an hour on it, but it's not bad (even though I drew it on the wrong side of the paper). I linked the darks, and that is why it doesn't suck.  Here are the steps:

1. I drew the outline (from a photo reference) paying attention to where the darks will go

2. I put the dark in as one major shape, (none of that drawing one eye/one nostril thing..everything is massed together!)

3. I added the middle tones

4. Then....I use a kneaded eraser to remove areas from the darks (for definition). Voila! A quick drawing with good shapes...that holds up from across the room.

Drawing: Celeste Bergin, White Horse, charcoal on 11x14 paper

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sketching this week

Some artful things from this week (slideshow below)
  • Sketching at Rain or Shine coffee shop 
  • Sketching with Loretta at the Stockpot Restaurant (on Red Tail golf course)
  • Visiting today with Wendy Westerwelle at "Switch" (I bought a new hat)
  • Checking out the Rose show with Carrie at OSA
  • Stopping into a neat antique store downtown Portland (Sylvia's) 
  • Sketching the sculpture at the Standard plaza building and 
  • The Umbrella man in Pioneer Courthouse square:
(Top Photo) Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Shakers, pen in 6x9 sketchbook
To see what the others did.... go HERE.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mary Cassatt copy

Today I came across this copy of a Mary Cassatt painting that I did a few years ago.  I posted it on my blog back then and I remember the guy in California (who never tires of offering me advice) taking the trouble to email me to tell me that the hat was too big. Well, tell Mary Cassatt, I replied (because the shapes are pretty faithful to the original). Looking at it today I think I could do a better overall job of it now and maybe I'll tackle it again some rainy day.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Girl in Straw Hat after Mary Cassatt, oil on 16x20

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Are you having a good Wednesday/Thursday? (Say yes!) ...Curious about where some of the Painters are painting this month? There is some new information HERE.

Painting: Celeste Bergin, The Gorge, oil on 6x8 canvas panel

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Lunching at YaHala, I sketched my retractable umbrella while we waited for our Cheese plate and Hot Mezza. (The umbrella is a handy fits nicely in my bag)!

Yahoooooo....I just signed up for the Orwick/Jacobsen Cannon Beach workshop beginning June 18th! (Michael Orwick, Eric Jacobsen). They are "team teaching". I especially appreciate that that they are offering individual days or the entire week. Cannon Beach! Oil Paint! Yeah! Throw in with us! Workshop Info HERE.

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Retractable Umbrella, ink in 6x9 Strathmore sketch book

PS...Do I owe you an email?? I have had nothing but email trouble for two weeks! I hope to get it all fixed during this week. :)

Monday, June 4, 2012


Just for fun...a playful bouquet,.... to celebrate Monday!

Today a package arrived from my blogger pal Sherry (Conservatively Bohemian). She made a present of this exceptional portrait of my Mom, together with two other small beautiful paintings. Daisy the cat was there for the unveiling. I know just where I am going to install this and I'll photograph it and share it soon. Thanks so much, Sherry....what a fantastic gift! :)

(Top Photo) Painting: Celeste Bergin, Playful Bouquet, oil on 8x10 canvas panel

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday .....!

The Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery hosted an event today called Tea and Roses. It was a lovely "Garden Party" smack dab in the center of the cemetery, part of the Rose Festival History and Roses Tour.  I got to hear to a nice presentation by Laura King about Mary Drain Albro (a woman who dedicated her life to preserving the roses of old Oregon and who actually planted the rose garden at Lone Fir)....and after that I sketched a rose.  (Slideshow below)

Sketch: Celeste Bergin, Old rose at Lone Fir Cemetery, ink and watercolor in Moleskine sketchbook

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I'm trying to get a little "spring cleaning" done in my studio, but I did not get very far today. ( I let distractions take over).  I'll get back to it tomorrow. Meanwhile, I did manage to add the glaze to this painting. I'm pleased with how it came out. How about you, blogging is your weekend?

Painting: Celeste Bergin, Golden Evening, oil on 8x8 canvas panel